Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Women of Christmas by Liz Curtis Higgs {Book Review}

~ Description 
A sacred season is about to unfold for three women whose hearts belong to God. 
Elizabeth is barren, yet her trust in God remains fertile. Mary is betrothed in marriage, yet she is willing to bear God’s Son. Anna is a widow full of years, yet she waits patiently, prayerfully for the Messiah to appear in the temple courts.

Following in their footsteps, you too can prepare for the Savior to enter your heart, your mind, and your life in a vibrant, new way. Best-selling author Liz Curtis Higgs explores the biblical stories of Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna, unwrapping each verse with tender care and introducing you afresh to The Women of Christmas. 

~ My Rating 
5 stars 

~ My Review 

This book is incredible. The amazing writing, the details in the Christmas story that I had never caught before, the rawness and realness of Mrs. Higgs... So good!

read it last December/January (another Mom-recommendation! ;D), and I really enjoyed it. The writing is so eloquent and even lyrical. 

The author dug deep into the lives and hearts of these three women of Christmas through the little we're told about each of them. She truly succeeded in bringing Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna 'to life' through her beautiful words. 

Absolutely amazing. <3


Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Christmas Star by Ace Collins {Book Review}

~ Description

Robert Reed gave his life for his country in the early days of World War II. His sacrifice was honored when his widow and son were presented with the Congressional Medal of Honor. Each Christmas the final decoration Madge Reed hangs on the family s tree is that medal. Rather than being a symbol of honor for young Jimmy Reed that shining star represents loss, pain, and suffering. Yet a letter delivered by one of Robert s fellow soldiers and a mystery posed in that letter put a father s sacrifice and faith into perspective and bring new meaning to not just the star hanging on the Christmas tree but the events of the very first Christmas. Then, when least expected, a Christmas miracle turns a final bit of holiday sadness into a joy that Jimmy has never known. 

~ My Rating 
5 stars 

~ My Review 

The Christmas Star was such a sweet, WWII-era story!! 

I grabbed this book from CBD awhile back, but I hadn't gotten around to reading it until recently. But I don't know why I waited!! This book was everything I'd hoped it would be and so much more. 

Main character Jimmy Reed lost his father, a Marine in the Pacific theater. The book opens a few days before Christmas of 1945, the first Christmas after the war. Jimmy is really hurting over knowing that his father is one who won't be coming home. He's 'straying from the straight and narrow' so to speak, and headed down a bad road. 

I don't usually love books with only/mostly guy POVs, but I really liked this one. There was two kisses in the book that I wasn't expecting and didn't really care for. *spoilers* Like.. Y'all are teenagers. Just please no. *end of spoilers* 

I sooo enjoyed reading Jimmy's story, his internal struggles of differentiating between right and wrong, and the tale of Christmas miracle in Ash Flat, Arkansas. :D Calvin was...probably my favorite character. He was just amazing with the way he reached out to those most people had forgotten. I loved learning his heartbreaking backstory too. <3 

All the tie-in stuff with Jimmy's dad was epic too!! The medal, the letter, the visitor...that surprise at the end. *shivers* Let's just say my heart was happy. <3 

All the way around, it was a really wonderful book! :D


Friday, December 15, 2017

As in Olden Days by Jesseca Wheaton {Book Review}

~ Description 
A prequel to the "Questions of War" series. Set during the Christmas of 1939.

~ My Rating 
5 stars 

~ My Review 

If you have followed my blog for any length of time or if you know me, you've probably heard me talk about the Questions of War series. I love book-1, I love book-2 even more, and I'm not-so-patiently awaiting the rest of the series. 

But...then the mastermind author came up with a prequel novella, set during the Christmas of 1939 which just so happens to be the Christmas before the series begins....and I love it so much. <3 

The story is precious and sweet, humorous and endearing. If you've read the other books, it will probably mean even more to you. I read it for the second time last week, and I seriously teared up. Reading of a happy and joyous time in the lives of people who are soon to be hurt terribly by a world war was heartbreaking, and yet somehow beautiful. 

A definite favorite. <3


Visit Stories by Firefly for more 12 Days of Christmas fun! :D

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Purpose of Christmas by Rick Warren {Book Review}

~ Description 
Why is Christmas such a big deal?

If you stop to think about it, it is astounding that the simple, unassuming birth of a peasant baby boy more than two thousand years ago in the Middle East can today cause traffic jams every December in places like New York City, Tokyo, and Rio de Janeiro.

The night Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, a small group of poor shepherds were quietly tending their flocks of sheep in a nearby field, looking up at the stars. Nothing seemed any different from a thousand other nights. But what was about to happen would transform not only their lives but billions of other lives as well. The world would never be the same again. 

Regardless of your religious background, you need to know how the three purposes of Christmas solve your three greatest needs. 

Understanding and receiving God's Christmas gifts to you will transform your life...forever!

~ My Rating 
5 stars 

~ My Review 

The Purpose of Christmas by Rick Warren was an amazing book. 

I was scouring my mom's bookshelf one day a few weeks ago, looking for more Christmas reads, and I came across some Christmas nonfiction. I asked her which ones she would recommend first, and The Purpose of Christmas was the first one she chose. 

*happy sigh* I'm so glad I read this one, and even though I've written quite a few book reviews, I don't think I can easily put into words how eloquent and truth-filled this one was. 

I would have appreciated if all references to God had been capitalized (pronouns were not), but this was not the first book I read where I noticed that. 

Instead of going on and on about it, I'm going to stop now and give y'all a few quotes. Bottom line: I would 100% recommend it. <33 

~ Quotes

"Although there are accidental parents, there are no accidental babies. The parents may not have planned it, but God did."

"Salvation...means being given the freedom and power to fulfill God's purpose for your life."

"If you study the life of Jesus, you'll quickly see that when you make a mistake, Jesus doesn't rub it in. He rubs it out."

"God had so much more in mind than just fire insurance when he sent Jesus to be our savior."

"...Any lasting solution must start in the heart, and only God can transform hearts." 

"The more you pray, the less you'll panic. The more you worship, the less you worry." 

"No man or woman will ever love you as completely and deeply as Jesus does." 


Visit Stories by Firefly for more fun stops with the 12 Days of Christmas blog party! :D

Saturday, December 9, 2017



Its an interesting word, isn't it? 

A definition I found reads... "see or observe – a thing or person, especially a remarkable or impressive one..." 

To see. To observe. To soak up the presence of something worthy of noting. 

The Bible uses the word behold in many places, often to draw attention to something of specific importance. Matthew 1:23, Luke 2:10-11, and 2 Corinthians 5:17 are two of my favorites. 

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. ~ Matthew 1:23 

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. ~ Luke 2:10-11 

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

This week, this month, this Christmas season, let's take a step back. 

Let's refrain from getting caught up in the rat-race, the scramble to buy something for everyone on our lists and attend all the festivities. 

Let's take time to observe. 

Let's spend time soaking up the beautiful tale. The story of a Savior coming to earth as a baby, born in a lowly stable one Bethlehem night. 

Let's cherish the simple moments and spend time beholding the beauty of the world we live in, created by the Lord of the Universe. 

Because, friends, you and I, we were created by One worth beholding. <3 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

They're Rugby Boys, Don't You Know? by Natalie Vellacott {Book Review}

~ Description 

Natalie Vellacott took a two-year break from her job with Sussex Police to join the Logos Hope Christian missionary ship. She was forever changed when, the ship having repeatedly broken down in the Philippines, she unexpectedly encountered and fell in love with a group of street teenage boys addicted to a solvent called "rugby." The dirty, wild, miserable, rabble were accustomed to hostility. Their curious approach in order to investigate the foreigners was cautious and sometimes abusive. Local Filipinos watched from a distance, fascinated yet fearful. These were the “rugby boys”--untouchable and invisible, even dangerous and definitely not worthy of time, attention, love and care. But now a small group of highly regarded foreigners seemed intent on drawing attention to them.

A true missionary story about Christian hope being brought to the hopeless in the Philippines... 

~ My Rating 
4 stars 

~ My Review 

They're Rugby Boys, Don't You Know? is an inspirational story of one woman's journey to bring hope to the hopeless and love to those deemed unlovable. 

While her missionary ship was in port in the Philippines, Natalie Vellacott met a rag-tag group of street boys known as the 'rugby boys.' When I received this book to review, I thought of rugby as that extremely-painful-looking sport that's one-third soccer, one-third football, and one-third pain. (Can you tell I'm not a sporty person? xD) This book introduced me to another meaning of the word 'rugby.' 

In the Philipines (and maybe other places – I'm not sure), rugby is a type of glue. These rugby boy outcasts would inhale the solvent-based glue and get high off it. Why? Because they're literally starving and the drug takes away the hunger pains and gives them the feeling of having a full stomach. If your heart didn't just break, I don't know what's wrong with you. 

It hurts my heart, and most definitely the author's as well. She along with a few others began reaching out to these boys, ministering to their physical as well as spiritual needs. Sometimes the boys lied to them, stole, didn't keep their promises – but  Ms. Vellacott and her band of helpers didn't stop showing them love. 

The author does not sugar-coat the hard stuff. She doesn't keep hidden the personal, emotional struggles she faced while reaching out to these boys. This book is the raw story of her journey during the time her world collided with that of these gangs of street boys. 

I laughed and smile when I read of the boys joking and having fun with the missionaries. (And when they were in the church showers – haha, oh my!!) My heart hurt when I read of the churches who refused to help the boys and the health issues some of the boys dealt as a result of drug abuse. 

The writing style isn't that great at times, and there was some grammatical errors. But, as I saw other reviewers point out, the book reads like a blog, and I was okay with that. 

This book is obviously very real – there is no fairytale ending. Some of the boys changed, found Christ, and were able to stay strong following drug rehab. Others returned to their former ways, only to remain in the cycle until they do finally give their lives completely to Christ or the drug abuse takes its toll. 

I enjoyed this story and it served well to open my eyes to suffering around the globe. Definitely recommended for any Christian, particularly those called to foreign missions. 

**I received an e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.** 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Sisters in Christ ~ Sarah K. ~ December 2017

A wonderful for Saturday to you all, and welcome to the December 2017 edition of Sisters in Christ! Today we have Sarah Keatts from One Name as our spotlighted blogger and sister! <3 

Alright, let's introduce you to the readers, Sarah! :D 

Hey, my name is Sarah. I'm a homeschooled teen. I'm also a PK (for those who don't know, Pastor's kid). 
I'm a follower of Jesus because after what He's done for me how could I be anything else? I love to love people... I want to show His love. 
And I blog over at One Name.

Thank you! Ah, yes. I've been enjoying your blog. What inspired you to start one? 

I wanted to share what God had been teaching me to others.. I wanted to use my gift of writing for His glory. I wanted to encourage others. 

Did you read other blogs before starting your own, or was starting a blog what thrust you into this amazing world we call The Blogosphere? ;) 

Actually my blog was what thrust me into The Blogosphere. :)

That's so cool!! And usually not the answer I get with that question. ;) How did you find my blog?

I found Chosen Vessels through your other blog, Stories by Firefly.

You already mentioned your faith, so let's delve into that a bit. What's your favorite Bible verse, chapter, and book? Why? 

Oh how can you make me choose? Okay so one of my favorite books of the Bible in the Old Testament is Hosea. It's a such a beautiful book which shows God's character. His just nature, His righteous anger, and yet His Grace and mercy and love. 
One of my favorite New Testament books is Ephesians. It's so packed with things to learn! Also at the end of the book tells us that we are in a spiritual Bible and tells us to pray. 
Favorite chapter? So one of my favorites would probably be Philippians 2... it talks about how Jesus, The Son of God, came to earth. I mean it says that even though He exists in the form of God, He didn't consider equality with God as something to be used to His own advantage. Wow! 
Favorite verse... one of my favorites right now is Isaiah 6:8... he says to God, "Here I am. Send me." I want to have that attitude... to say to God, Here I am. Send me.

What Bible verses have really helped you through some rough times? 

So one is Matthew 26:41. It's a reminder to pray... because even though the spirit is willing the flesh is weak. 

Another is Psalm 27:14.... recently I went through a time of waiting and it really encouraged me. 

What is one event in your life that really strengthened your Christian walk? 

A few years ago my family and I moved to where I live now. I was excited about going to a new place but at the same time I didn't want to move. And my sister and I were in the children's ministry at the time but just a year later we moved up to our church's youth group... we were the only new ones moving up. That was .... hard. I felt awkward. But throughout that whole experience God was showing me what it means to follow Him. Following is a action. We're called to live our lives for Him and His glory. 
And though this isn't a specific event.... a few months ago God gave me a wake up call to start living for Him more. And even more recently to share the gospel. 
This walk with Jesus is a journey... and I'm still walking it. I've still got a lot to learn... but that's okay, we all do.

Any Bible reading tips? 

You've probably heard this before but to read everyday. It doesn't matter how much... just read. 
And to keep a Bible journal. Even if you aren't a fan of writing then it's really helpful to write what God's teaching you. 

I really enjoy keeping a Bible journal. :) 

On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the most), how much of a reader would you consider yourself? 
What about a writer? 

That's a hard one. Maybe 9 when it comes to reading. I'm a pretty avid reader. Probably 8 1/2 when it comes to writing... I LOVE writing... but I need to actually write more. :)

Where's your favorite place to read and/or write? 

Really anywhere. With a blanket. Even in the summer. On the couch or on my bed. With writing I'll usually do it at my desk on my computer but I jot down things anywhere. 

What's your favorite author(s)? Favorite books by them? 

I like Lynn Austin. And her series God and Kings... it's a fictional, Biblical, Christian series... really good. 
I also like Ally Carter. She's not a Christian author but her books are clean and interesting. I like Embassy Row trilogy by her. 

What are some books that really impacted your young life? 

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis. My mom read it to me and my sister and she paused for the day and I went and finished the rest of it. :). 
I also loved reading the Boxcar Children series... I forget the authors name though. 

I believe Gertrude Chandler Warner wrote those. I really liked them too! 

If you had to use one word to describe yourself, what would it be? 

That's hard. Maybe fiery. Not the kind of quick temper fiery (though I'm working on patience) but like passionate about what I believe. 

Any pet peeves? 

When people talk with their mouth full. 
Clicking pens (but I do this too, I just don't like others to do it 😂). 
People looking over my shoulder (I hate it when they do that! I can't stand it)

Ugh, people looking over my shoudler bothers me too!! Favorite songs? 

Oh that's really hard. One of my favorites recently has been Undone by Salvation Grace. And You Give Me Life by Kyle Smith and Lauren Sweeney. And Invincible by Skillet. 

Anything else to add? Goals for the rest of this year or next?

Next year I really want to finish the first draft of this book I've been working on. 
Also, I am pretty weird... but I mean aren't we all? Totally random thing but I'm also a ENFP according to Myers Briggs Personality Quiz. 
Thanks for having me! :)

That's so cool – I'm INFP! Thanks for joining me today, Sarah! :D 


Be sure to drop Sarah a comment here and check out her blog!! :)


Saturday, November 25, 2017

Thanksgiving Psalm {2017}

As I was reading my Bible on Thursday morning, I came across this passage while looking through Psalms for another Thanksgiving verse. It's a really beautiful chapter so I hope y'all enjoy. :) 

O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. 
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. 
For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. 
In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. 
The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. 
O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. 
For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, 
Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 
When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. 
Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways: 
Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.”

~ Psalms 95:1-11 KJV ~ 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

I Have Been Blessed {Song Lyrics}

When He moves among us, all that He does
All of His mercy and all of His love
If the pen of the writer could write everyday
Even this world could never contain
How I have been blessed

The warmth in the winter, the flowers in spring
Laughter in summer and the changing of leaves
Food on my table, a good place to sleep
Clothes on my back and shoes on my feet
I have been blessed

I have been blessed, God's so good to me
Precious are His thoughts of you and me
No way I could count them, there's not enough time
So I'll just thank Him for being so kind
God has been good, so good
I have been blessed

Arms that will raise, a voice that can talk
Hands that can touch and legs that can walk
Ears that can listen, eyes that can see
Oh, I've got to praise Him as long as I breathe
I have been blessed

A father and mother who nurtured and raised
Brothers and sisters, memories made
Our pastor to lead us, the altar to pray
Stripes that can heal, and blood that can save
I have been blessed

I have been blessed, God's so good to me
Precious are His thoughts of you and me
No way I could count them, there's not enough time
So I'll just thank Him for being so kind
God has been good, so good
I have been blessed

We live in a country, the greatest on earth
Our flag stands for freedom and what it is worth
She stands in the harbor, Miss Liberty calls
All have gave some, but some have gave all
For me to be blessed

He's my shoulder to lean on when I am down
The Rock where He leads me when I'm overwhelmed
The place where He hides me up under His wings
He's not just a song, He's the reason I sing
I have been blessed

I have been blessed, God's so good to me
Precious are His thoughts of you and me
No way I could count them, there's not enough time
So I'll just thank Him for being so kind
God has been good, so good
I have been blessed

**All images from Pinterest, lyrics from Google.** 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Sisters in Christ ~ Faith ~ November 2017

Hello all! 

Welcome to the November edition of Sisters in ChristToday, the sweet Faith from I Like That will be joining me for the chat. We'll try not to confuse you with the two Faiths.... ;) 

Hello Faith, and welcome to Chosen Vessels! Have fun introducing yourself to the readers. :D

Hi! I'm a recent homeschool graduate currently taking a gap year, and am a pastor's daughter. I was homeschooled all the way through from kindergarten to 12th grade and am very grateful for having the opportunity to be. I live with my wonderful family on about an acre of land surrounded by farmland and lovely mountain views. I enjoy a variety of things such as photography, cooking and baking, playing the piano, listening to music, writing, reading, biking, taking walks, knitting, and doing various crafty things. I also like learning and trying new things as well. Ever since I was little, I've had the dream to be a writer. I'm currently working on a couple of stories that I hope to publish one day, even if only for myself. And, as the name of this chat would suggest, I'm a devout follower of Christ who desires to please Him in everything I do!

I didn't realize you're a pastor's daughter as well! :) What inspired you to start a blog? 
I think it was mostly from reading other blogs, my love for writing, and my mom's encouragement. I had secretly wanted to start a blog for some time before, but hadn't really said anything to my parents about it because I was so busy (and a little behind) with school and other things at the time. So because of that, I thought they might not think it would be the best idea for me to spend so much time keeping up with a silly little blog. But then one day, my mom and I were talking about blogs and she mentioned to me that I should start one and could put my writing and photography and other things like that on there. So I gladly told her that I'd very much like that and got right on it!

Did you read other blogs before starting your own, or was starting a blog what thrust you into this amazing world we call The Blogosphere? ;) 
Yes, I read a few other blogs before, mostly my friend Olivia's blog, Meanwhile in Rivendell...

How did you find my blog(s)? 
You first commented on my blog, and so that's how I first met you and found your blog here. And I'm so glad you did! I'm so grateful for your friendship. :)

I didn't realize that! I must have found your blog through Olivia's. :) What's your favorite Bible verse, chapter, and book? Why? 
Oh my... how does one pick a favorite Bible verse? There are so many good ones! 
Well, one of my favorite verses at the moment is Philippians 4:6-7. I like this one because whenever I begin to get anxious or worried about something, it helps to remind me that if I just pray to God and focus on Him, trusting in Him to help me, then I'll have the peace of mind and peace of heart that comes from Him.

My favorite chapter might be Psalm 34. There is just so much in this chapter! It's always a real encouraging one to read and reminds me what a great and delivering God our Lord is!

And my favorite book... maybe Ephesians. Or Romans. Or John... John's a great book! Probably one of those three. I love reading in places where Jesus performs miracles and just seeing His compassion for people, and the faith of the people he touched and healed.

What Bible verse(s) have really helped you through some rough times? 
Proverbs 3:25-26 has helped me through a lot rough times; especially during one hard time me and our family went through a couple of years ago. I was really struggling in my faith and felt as far away from God as I'd ever felt before, while smack dab in the middle of that, my mom started having some health issues that were really hard on her as well as all of us. I had read this verse a lot of times before, but it wasn't until one night in the midst of that terrible attack that this verse really stuck out and comforted me a lot. It says, "Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; for the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught."
And that's just one out of countless verses that have helped me through hard times like that.

What is one event in your life that really strengthened your Christian walk? 
Recently, a man in our church passed away. It's been a while for me since someone so close that we see and talk to regularly has gone on to be with the Lord. While this was a very sad situation, it's reminded me again that Heaven really is a real place, that we really will get to see the man from our church again, and how really important it is to get the Gospel out to the world so that everyone gets a chance to go to there. Of course, I've always been taught and have known Heaven is a real place and that things in this world won't last forever and aren't ultimately important, but I think when this happened, it kind of gave me a reality check and really put things into a new perspective -- helping to remind me that this life here isn't all there is, and that I need to not be wasting so much time on earthly things and spending more time in God's Word and telling others about Him -- and to not concern myself so much with what people might think of me by telling them about Jesus. I'm realizing that saving my pride isn't so nearly as important as helping to save a person from eternal torment... So the Lord's really been working with and teaching me on that recently, and reminding me to not let my normal personality get in the way of what He's calling me to do.


Any Bible reading tips? 
Reading your Bible every day is very important. I've come to find that it's not really how much you read, but how you read that makes the most impact. You might have a goal to read a whole chapter one day, but then one verse might really stick out to you and you might feel like you should take time to think and meditate on that particular verse. But if you're so bent on doing it your own way and just trying to complete the chapter so you can move on, then you don't really give the Holy Spirit room to point something out to you and teach you something from what you're reading. Basically, just be open and listen for what God's trying to tell you through His Word whenever you sit down to read your Bible.

Of course, quite often I've slipped up on this as well and have just run through some verses or a chapter out of routine and not really think much about it. I'm working on doing better on this though.

Now for the reading and writing side of things... On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the most), how much of a reader would you consider yourself? What about a writer? 
Probably 7 for reader. It seems like there are times that I go through a phase when I'm just not interested in reading anything at all, and then other times, I suddenly get the urge to want to read anything and everything I can get my hands on! But I think I like reading more than not. Especially children's chapter books. I'd much rather sit down and read through a children's chapter book than a novel written for young adults/adults (though I enjoy those types of books sometimes, too; it pretty much has to be historical fiction for me to be really interested in reading it though).

And for writer, I'd say 9 1/2. I've always enjoyed writing, especially writing stories. It's just always kind of been my thing. But of course, there are many times when writer's block gets in the way... 

Hehe, relatable – on the writer's block. ;) Where's your favorite place to read and/or write? 
I usually enjoy reading and writing either outside or by a window. I always like reading by natural light.

What's your favorite author(s)? Favorite books by them? 
Hmm... well, I like Eleanor H. Porter and her book, Pollyanna a lot. I also enjoy Joan Lowery Nixon's writing in her Orphan Train Adventures series. Sid Fleishman is also another favorite of mine. I like his book The Whipping Boy and some of his Mr. McBroom stories; I especially enjoy his writing style in those. 

What are some books that really impacted your young life? 
The Bible would definitely be the number one book that has impacted my life. I really enjoyed the historical American Girl books when I was younger and believe those stories had a great impact on my life as well and also developed my liking for historical fiction even more. Kirsten was one of my favorites, maybe because I felt like I related to her in a way... I so wanted them to make a Kirsten movie, and (low key) I really wished I could have played the part of Kirsten. I actually looked quite a bit like her -- I had long blond hair that I'm sure could have been easily braided into loops and everything! :P But anyway, there were those, and also my mom read aloud to my siblings and I many children's books that impacted me a lot as well such as, Miss Rumphius, Forty Acres and Maybe a Mule, Cranberry Thanksgiving, The Pumpkin Runner, and countless others.

Okiedoke, here's a few random questions for ya. :D If you had to use one word to describe yourself, what would it be? 
Hmm... maybe Dreamer.

Any pet peeves? 
I probably have a lot, but here are just a few: 
-When people put up Christmas lights/decorations before Thanksgiving.
-When you're trying to talk to someone, but they're on their phone the whole time.
-When people don't seem to care or seem oblivious to the fact how messy or untidy they keep things. (Though, I'll admit... ahem... I don't always keep things too spic and span myself, but I'm not oblivious to the fact of it and I care, so that should count for something, right? ...Maybe?.....No?)

Favorite songs? 
A few favorites of mine are Good Good Father by Chris Tomlin, Cable Knit Sweater by The Lads, Shake by MercyMe, Steady by For King & Country, Sunday School Rock, Who's in the House, and Slam by Carman, and Don't Let the Devil Steal Your Joy by Ken Blount.

Thumbs up on Shake... ;) Anything else to add? Goals for the rest of this year or next?
Well, for goals, I'm currently working on writing two stories which I hope to publish someday (as I said at the beginning). One is a novel, and the other more of a children's chapter book type story. I hope to finish the first draft of at least one of these stories by the end of the year. We'll see how that goes. ;) I'm also considering maybe writing homeschool book studies or something like that and possibly starting some sort of business out of that. I enjoy little kids as well and am sort of wanting and looking to get a job involving looking after and/or teaching children sometime in this or next year. Right now, I'm kind of just trying to figure out which route to take with my life and what God really wants me to do, so life's been a little crazy, but really good at the same time, and I know God will show me the right way to go if I just keep on after Him.

That all sounds wonderful!! Blessings to you as you seek to live for Him! <3 

Thank you so much for having me, Faith! I'm so glad we got to have this lovely chat. It was a lot of fun!

Thank you!! :D 


Be sure to leave Faith some comments and check out her blog, I Like That. 

I said in my last post that I would be taking a week off while a friend was visiting, but then I ended up not posting the next two weeks either...I honestly don't have an excuse, other than to say that life is often taking me away from here. :P I'll try to post every or every-other week now through the end of the year, but I can't really make that a commitment right now. 

Thanks for reading! 

**Pictures not our own. Borrowed from the Internet. 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Wake Up Call.

There have been many bad things happening in the world around us lately. Fires in the western end of the country. The hurricanes – Harvey, Irma, Maria, and now Nate. The earthquakes in Mexico. The recent shooting in Las Vegas. There are probably other incidents, but these are what first come to my mind. 

It's horrible and heartbreaking. People often ask questions in times of tragedy – myself included. Why? Why me? Why this? Why now? Why all this hurt, God? 

I don't know the answer; I honestly don't. But here's what has been heavy on my mind concerning this of late. 

What if it's a wake-up call? 

A wake up call from God, trying to get America's attention. We've fallen so far away from Him, and yet He offers grace. In His goodness, He nudges us back toward the straight and narrow. Back to Him. 

His grace and mercy is there and waiting. The question is: how will we respond? 


Pretty short, but it's what I've got. ;) Share your thoughts on the topic if you'd care to! 

Also, two quick things to take note of... There will not be a post here on CV next Saturday. If you'd like an explanation on that, take a look at this post.

Another thing, a guest post written by yours truly will be up on More Precious than Gold this week! I encourage you to pop over and check it out sometime, along with the rest of this great series Ashley has going on. :D 

Thanks for reading and God bless! <3

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Where Dandelions Grow by Lydia Howe {Book Review}

~ Description 
Cousins are forever, or at least they’re supposed to be. 
What happens when your world falls apart and your dreams are mocked by those closest to you? 
Destiny’s idyllic childhood full of laughter and cousins abruptly ended when her mom uprooted the family to move them across the country with strict instructions to never talk about Swallow Ridge again. Eleven years later Destiny moves back to her hometown, determined to find her cousins… and answers. 
Plagued by generations of bitterness and manipulation, Destiny hides her life-long goal - unwilling to let anyone else trample her fragile dreams. But life in the cozy town full of dandelions teaches Destiny there’s more to life than what she’s been taught. 
Is it possible Swallow Ridge not only holds the answers Destiny so intensely searches for, but also the hope? 

~ My Rating 
4 stars 

~ My Review 

A cozy and whimsy read! 

To be totally honest, I would have to say that I signed up to review this book 99% because it has the word 'dandelion' right there in the title. I mean, aside from my book and a book by Karen Kingsbury, I'm not sure I know of any other books that have that. So I just had to read it. ;) And I enjoyed the part dandelions played in the storyline and the theme of the book!

My favorite part of the book would have to be Destiny's spiritual and writerly journey. I could really relate to that. I mean, most (if not all) the people in my life know that I'm a writer, but it can still be difficult to open up to someone about it. 

However, after reading several chapters into the book, I was a bit confused. By the synopsis, I expected more of a girl-searching-for-her-cousins thing. Instead, it was more focused on Destiny's journey to find herself. Which was okay! Just not what I was expecting. :) 

It really was a sweet story, and I enjoyed the cousin-friendship theme of the book – not something you see often! 

3.75 (if thats even a thing...) stars!

**I received an e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.** 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

A Living Faith.

This is not the post I had planned for today. Last night, as I sat down to write or at least get head start on today's post, I glanced over the meager notes I had for the topic I'd planned. And I frowned. Sure, it's a good topic. But it's not really on my heart right now. I don't feel like writing it right now. You see, I like to write what I feel. What God has been showing me. 

So, I scrolled through some old draft posts and quickly found this one, that I started this spring. I finished writing it, tided it up, and here it. I hope y'all enjoy. :) 

Yes, that other post will probably appear here sometime, but probably not for a few weeks. In the meanwhile, I have other things planned. ;) 

I sit down to write this post and I honestly have no idea what I'm doing. I want to write something good. Uplifting. I want to encourage you all in your Christian walk. 

I want to write about faith. 

No, not capitalized Faith. (Writing about her might get lengthy, not to mention boring.) Lowercase faith. The faith of 'good people'. The Christian faith. Faith that God will take care of His people. Faith in God's love. Faith that will carry us through no matter. 

And I could go on and on. But what is faith? The Dictionary App defines faith this way: 

  1. confidence or trust in person or thing: faith in another's ability. 
  2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact. 
  3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.

From these definitions, we can derive that faith is a confidence. A trust. And a belief. But... with no proof. 

Faith isn't just believing that a God exists somewhere out there. Faith is believing that God's presence is surrounding each and every one of us, every second of every day. 

Faith isn’t just believing in a God we can’t see or touch. It’s trusting in Him at all times. We don’t need to understand the mind of God, and we don’t need to agree with the choices He makes. We need to obey, and to trust regardless of what the outcome may be. 
~ Darlene Schacht

Something I read awhile back said to ask God for a "living faith." What do I mean by that? I mean, a faith we live out 24/7. A faith that is as plenteous on those terrible Mondays as on those encouraging Sundays. 

A living faith is believing even when all else is against us... 

A living faith is trusting the True Light even when surrounded by darkness... 

A living faith is clinging to Him even when it's all falling apart around us... 

A living faith is the kind of faith every true Christian to have, day in and day out... 

Have a blessed week! <3